More than 2,700 stray dogs were taken in by Battersea Dogs And Cats Home in 2011 and the majority had no microchip to help trace their owners.
The rescue charity is now calling on the Government to introduce compulsory microchipping to tackle irresponsible dog ownership.
The charity found that 72% of the 2,715 dogs brought to the Battersea home in 2011 had no tags or microchips. It is currently a legal requirement for a dog to have a collar and tag displaying the owner’s contact details.
Claire Horton, Battersea’s chief executive, said: “The Government must introduce desperately-needed amendments to outdated laws. The sheer number of stray dogs needing our help shows just how grave the situation is and it shows no signs of abating.”
A microchip is a disc about the size of grain of rice which sits under the animals skin. It contains a code which links to a national database of owners’ contact details so they can be tracked down if the animal strays. Last year, less than half of the dogs Battersea reunited with their owner were as a result of a microchip.
Ms Horton added: “We’ve been waiting far too long for the Government to reform the current failed dog laws. Battersea takes in 14 dogs every day and it’s a huge concern to us when we are powerless to trace the irresponsible owners who dump their dogs or simply let them run off.
“We’ll continue to do all we can to help these animals, but we really need to know that the Government is playing its part in helping to sort the stray dog crisis on our streets.”
In 2010, Battersea took in 4,039 dogs. The drop between 2011 and 2010 is due to the charity working with local authorities to encourage them to kennel their stray dogs in the borough to help owners find their missing pet.